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Gov't doing all for safe release of German hostages, Palace says

MANILA - Malacañang said Thursday the government is doing everything to secure the release of a German couple abducted by the Abu Sayyaf Group.

"The Philippine government is exerting all efforts to secure the safe release of the German hostages. We shall continue to pursue this objective," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said in a statement emailed to members of the Malacañang Press Corps.

German couple Viktor Stefan Okonek, 71, and Henrike Dieter, 55, was abducted by the group in April.

They were reportedly seized in April from their yacht, which broke down near the island of Palawan en route to Sabah in eastern Malaysia and have since been held in captivity.

The Abu Sayyaf has demanded a P250 million ransom.

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